Saturday 20 July, 2019

Tensions rising among Clansman gangsters in Spanish Town – police

File photo

File photo

The police are keeping a close watch on Spanish Town and its environs following reports that a new round of tension is brewing in the area between some members of the notorious Clansman gang.

Information reaching Loop News is that there has been a split between members of the gang who are aligned to Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, the reputed leader of one faction of the gang.

Police sources said they have received reports that gang members have been at loggerheads with each other, and in recent weeks have been engaged in a series of tit-for-tat attacks, several of which have not being officially reported to local authorities.

In one of the areas where the now feuding gang members operate, an off-duty Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier was recently shot and injured.

Reports are that the soldier was simply walking close to the ‘Shelter Rock’ community when he was attacked and shot by armed thugs.

The attack reportedly took place because the soldier had mistakenly walked into an area that is considered a border between two gangs that are presently at odds.

Following the shooting, the criminals left the area and the soldier was taken to hospital, where he was admitted for treatment.

“Because of the developments, police are keeping a close watch on sections of Spanish Town and surrounding areas, to ensure that things are kept under control,” a source from the St Catherine North Police Division said.

Bryan was remanded in custody earlier this year when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

He has been charged under the anti-gang legislation with attempting to recruit an adult to join a criminal organisation, and with leading a criminal organisation, according to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Fitz Bailey, who heads the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) of the police force.

Five other alleged members of the gang, including Bryan’s mother, Millicent Brown, also appeared in court on charges of participating in a criminal operation. The others are his brother Kevaughn Green, Alecia Brown, Davian Edwards and Boswell Rhoden.

Bryan was arrested about a week before the state of emergency was imposed in the St Catherine North Police Division on March 18.

ACP Bailey told a press conference shortly thereafter, that internal feuding in the Clansman gang had led to 78 of the 134 murders that were committed in the division in 2017, and 25 of the 49 that were committed up to that point in 2018.

Bailey said Bryan’s mother was charged with being part of a criminal organisation for allegedly allowing the facilitation of serious offences, so too Bryan’s brother and Alecia Brown, who is either Bryan’s or his brother’s girlfriend.

ACP Bailey said the family members were held in an upper St Andrew community where they had been in hiding for over a year. He said they were paying US$1,500 or J$187,000 in monthly rental for the upscale property.

According to the police, Bryan has been in conflict with Tesha Miller, who they said heads the other main faction of the notorious Clansman gang.

Miller is also behind bars, charged with having been an accessory to the 2008 murder of then Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) Chairman, Douglas Chambers, at the gate to the company’s head office and Spanish Town depot in Twickenham Park.

Interestingly, Bryan was among a group of men who were suspected of having carried out Chambers’ murder. He was charged and later tried, and was acquitted at the trial. Others among the group of suspects were killed in reported gunfights with the security forces.

According to Bailey, factions of the Clansman gang have for years been warring for the control of space, guns and extortion, and have also been implicated in contract killings, in the old capital.

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